ANZ leaders need to leverage data and technology more as a creative tool

Paige Murphy
By Paige Murphy | 14 January 2021

Creative leadership is strong in the Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) market but there is room for improvement when it comes to using data and technology as a tool for creativity, according to the 2020 results of Adobe CQ (creativity quotient).

Adobe CQ is an evaluation tool designed to measure enterprise creative aptitude and capability across teams and organisations.

More than 2,500 enterprise leaders from across APAC – including 578 leaders from Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) – took the online persona-based test to evaluate their creative leadership in 2020.

The baseline test examines five key areas where creativity impacts business success: culture, data, skills, technology and experiences.

At the conclusion of the test, respondents are assigned an appropriate persona based on their results – Visionary, Leader, Assembler or Challenger.

“The challenges of 2020 brought to the fore the importance of creativity, collaboration, innovation and problem solving,” Adobe Australia and New Zealand vice president Suzanne Steele says.

“Business leaders across Australia and New Zealand are doing a great job building the right culture and experience to drive creativity, however it is important we don’t stop there.

“We need to continue to prioritise the development of creative skills, explore ways to upskill teams and invest in new technology to facilitate creativity. Future business growth will require forward-thinking leaders who can embrace creativity to push boundaries and open new pathways to success."

The majority of ANZ leaders are performing well in creative leadership, with 60% ranking as ‘Leaders’.

However, there is still room for improvement with just 13% of participants achieving the top ranking of ‘Visionaries’.

ANZ leaders are strongest in the ‘experience’ category, with 45% excelling in leveraging creative skills and technology to deliver innovative and engaging experiences.

Specifically, more than half (58%) of ANZ enterprise leaders see creativity as a fundamental tool of innovation and evolution incorporating it into all elements of work.

“Fostering a creative culture is a strength of ANZ leaders, with 41% excelling in this area. When asked when their team feels most creative, more than half (54%) said when there is a problem to be solved," Steele says.

"This means leaders in ANZ are providing their teams with an environment that celebrates change, and encourages a ‘fail fast’ attitude, allowing brands to challenge the status quo and unlock new endeavours."

One area for improvement is the use of technology as a creative tool. Compared to the rest of APAC, ANZ leaders trail behind in terms of data and technology.

Less than a third (31%) of ANZ leaders excel in data, and a similar number (33%) excel in technology, compared to 35% and 37% respectively for APAC.

“The greatest area of opportunity for ANZ leaders is to better foster and leverage creative skills within their teams,” Steele says.

“Less than one quarter (22%) of ANZ leaders excelled in helping their teams develop creative skills such as critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration. We need to see greater focus on upskilling in these skills crucial to the future of work.”

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at

Sign up to the AdNews newsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for breaking stories and campaigns throughout the day.